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Public input into ferry schedules?

The public could have a greater say about ferry services to and from the Isle of Man.

That could be the outcome of a recommendation by a committee looking into the running of the Steam Packet.

The committee was set up in June last year to examine whether the current User Agreement was in the Isle of Man's best interests, and its report is due to be debated by Tynwald later this month.

The committee wants the Department of Transport to establish a consultative body to which all matters relating to travel, including complaints, could be referred.

It also suggests putting the Department of Transport's Liaison Group on a formal footing as the Steam Packet Liaison Committee, preferably chaired by a DoT member, to monitor compliance with the User Agreement and make sure issues relating to it are given sufficient scrutiny.

When it comes to ticket fares, it's envisaged the Steam Packet Liaison Committee would involve the Office of Fair Trading when increases were planned, and the DoT would scrutinise comparable freight rates charged by other Irish Sea ferry operators.

The report will be considered by Tynwald on November 18.

(Picture: Steam Packet fast craft at Douglas).

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